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Old March 23rd, 2004, 12:08 AM   #1
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HD formating - HFS+ vs NTFS

Just got a new external HD (LaCie 250GB), and have learned that the two file system formats seem to be completely incompatible.

I'll be transfering between PC and MAC, and don't want just one big FAT32 drive (too many limitations). I can't even separate into HFS+ and FAT32 partitions from either my PC (win2K) or MAC (OS 10.2.8).

Anyone have any suggestions on how I can get around this problem? Do I have to buy some kind of Mac file reading software for my PC?

Thanks for the help!
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 08:12 AM   #2
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This has been discussed before, try a search of this topic. There is some Mac, third party software that will do the trick, but it is real slow. You can really only do it efficiently over a network (to the best of my knowledge).
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Old March 29th, 2004, 09:44 AM   #3
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i read through what posts i could find on the subject. sorry if i'm asking stuff that's already been covered, but i can't seem to find any posts that explain this subject thoroughly. if there are, can anyone point me to the link?

from what i've found, seems there isn't really a good solution at this point. maybe OS 10.3 (panther) might be able to read NTFS format. but i've also heard that it only reads it partially. (?)

i'm running OS 10.2.8, so cannot verify this. is it worthwhile to upgrade to 10.3 just for this reason?

thanks again.
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Old March 29th, 2004, 11:34 AM   #4
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I'm assuming you haven't found your answer in your original thread?

I think that's the thread Jeff was talking about.
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Old March 30th, 2004, 12:39 AM   #5
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I'm new to this so sorry if I'm not posting correctly. I clicked on "post reply" (which is what I'm doing now) and my original thread got moved to a new one. Now, I don't even see the original one listed...

Which is the thread Jeff was talking about? Is there a specific previous discussion you guys are referring to?

I'm definitly missing something here.
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Old March 30th, 2004, 03:28 AM   #6
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My bad. I linked to the same thread instead of your other one.
I've edited my post to link to the correct thread now. You didn't
click on post reply but on new thread.
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Old March 30th, 2004, 04:52 AM   #7
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Macs don't read NTFS. There is a PC product called Macdrive that allows PC's to read HFS+ drives. I understand from the Avid forums there may be issues with Avid striped drives under XP and Macdrive. I would consult the company before a purchase. Macs recognize FAT (16/32) formatted drives. My understanding that FAT 32 has a maximum file size of 4GB. The maximum size of the drive (partition) varies with the PC OS. I think it was 32GB under Windows 2000. I think it can be larger under XP Pro. But the read/write sizes may be different. If you asked in the PC section, they may know more of the limitation of FAT32 under XP.

My understanding is that Macs will not see a partition larger than 128GB and will not mount a partition larger than that (formated FAT 32).

I just learned this in the last several days from one of my students. He uses an Apple iPod to transfer data between the Macs at school and his PC and Mac at home. He used the iPod updater to format it for PC and both system can read the files. The largest iPod at his time is 40GB.
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Old March 30th, 2004, 10:48 AM   #8
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I looked into the subject as well. The mac will see the FAT formatted drive but none of the mac programms will actually write to it. (you can drag to it )FCP will not allow you to make it its capture drive and so on. Programms that actually share both platforms are not able to share the videofiles. You will need a program like macdrive or macopener to be able to work this way. I have not tried them yet but I am not very hopefull about their capabilities. At best FAT32 works poor with mac and the other way around, from a pc perspective, nothing works!!
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Old March 30th, 2004, 12:11 PM   #9
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So according to the Apple website, OS 10.3 can read NTFS, but not write to it. They still recomend formating to FAT32. (Of course, they don't mention anything about file / drive / partition size limitations)

It's infuriating that after all these years, Apple and Microsoft still get bogged down by these basic compatibility issues.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 02:42 AM   #10
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" think it was 32GB under Windows 2000 "

That's incorrect. I'm not sure what the maximum size is (under
FAT32) but it's definitely more than that. NTFS goes into the
terabytes.
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